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From the Desk of Kim Zablocky: Last Call for the RVCF Fall Conference! Here's What You Need to Know

Posted By Administration, Thursday, October 19, 2017
Updated: Wednesday, October 18, 2017

Do you still have time to register for the RVCF Fall Conference? Yes, but look at it this way. It's about 15 minutes before closing time, servers are starting to clean up, and it won't be long before we lock the doors.

The RVCF 2017 Annual Fall Conference is a little more than two weeks away – November 5-8, 2017 at the JW Marriott Phoenix Desert Ridge Resort and Spa in Phoenix, AZ. This year's theme is "The New Realities of Retail: A Multi-Directional Supply Chain."

The retail industry is in the midst of unprecedented change. The old way of doing things is no longer a sustainable, successful model. E-commerce and heightened customer expectations are forcing the industry to innovate and adopt new ways of thinking and operating. The Fall Conference is designed to bring retailers, suppliers, and service providers together to collaborate and manage this change in a way that lifts the industry as a whole.

Watch this video to get a sense of what RVCF Conference attendees say about these events year after year.

Here's what's on tap (pun intended) for the RVCF 2017 Annual Fall Conference.

For Retailers
You've probably devoted significant resources to using a customer relationship management (CRM) system as well as a strategy to better understand customer needs and build stronger relationships. Supplier relationship management is equally important. The session "Building a Supplier Relationship Management Program from the Ground Up" will offer new techniques and best practices for streamlining processes, establishing uniformity in process and policy, and maximizing the value of supplier relationships.

"When Buyers and Suppliers Win: Configurable Portals for Supplier Information Management and Working Capital Optimization" will be presented by Helen Tueffel and Danny Thompson of Apex Analytics. This session will discuss how next-generation portals can help retailers take control of their data and better manage the financial supply chain.

Traditional scorecard metrics and processes are inadequate in today's retail landscape. RVCF's Victor Engesser will be moderating a panel discussion on "The Evolving Retail Scorecard," with questions answered throughout the session. Learn the latest enhancements and collaborative processes that go into developing a scorecard that improves performance for brick-and-mortar stores, e-commerce, distribution center, and direct-to-consumer channels.

Brian Gibson, Executive Director, Supply Chain Innovation at Auburn University will lead a panel discussion about the key findings of the 2017 Advance Shipping Notice (ASN) Accuracy Study and the ongoing quest for perfection. We'll also have our usual peer-to-peer roundtables so retailers can discuss common issues and, more importantly, share ideas and solutions.

For Suppliers
Our supplier members are constantly asking for help when it comes to working with Amazon. Once again, RVCF is answering the call with the session, "Managing Amazon from a Vendor's Perspective." Adam Ortega and Phil Stolt of Ortega Group will share tips and tricks for building and protecting your brand and selling your product on Amazon, as well as warn you about pitfalls to avoid.

Several sessions will focus on drop ship best practices, tips and challenges. During the session "Understanding Drop Ship Service Provider Partnerships – RVCF Survey Teach Out," we'll share the results of our survey of suppliers who support retailer drop shipping programs that utilize a third-party service provider. We'll discuss common challenges, the level of support and value surveyed suppliers receive, how processes can be improved, and collaborative best practices.

Effective sales and operations planning (S&OP) typically results in lower operating costs, lower inventory requirements and top-line growth. To achieve these benefits, organizations have to combine a fundamental understanding of S&OP with modern tools that enhance the process. Joe Shedlawski of JFS Associates and past president of APICS Corporate will lead the "Sales and Operations Planning Workshop" to help you learn and apply best practices.

As always, a number of retailers will host breakout sessions and bring merchandise suppliers up to speed on their current and 2018 initiatives. These sessions are different from our One-on-One meetings, which provide suppliers with the opportunity to meeting individually with their retailer customers and discuss specific issues. You can still register in order to take part in One-on-Ones, but meetings are in the process of being scheduled so you need to act fast! The longer you wait, the lower your chance of getting the meetings you want.

For All
Most organizations don't have the budget and manpower to offer enough formal training and education to staff. That's why we decided to replace the traditional keynote with a 100-minute Dale Carnegie training session that's consistent with the conference theme of rapid change. "Learn How to Present to Sell Change and Communicate with Diplomacy and Tact," presented by Dale Carnegie's Ken Beyersdorf, will show attendees how to sell change, control the conversation, encourage collaboration, and respectfully overcome conflict by finding common ground.

To ensure the right products are in the right place at the right time at the right cost, both retailers and suppliers need instant access to data and real time supply chain visibility that extends back to the factory. Manually generated reports and manual processes like e-mail and phone calls, while still used by eight in 10 companies, are inadequate. GT Nexus Founder Kurt Cavano will shed light on "What's New in Global Factory Communication Portals," discussing how advanced portal capabilities can help retailers and suppliers meet customer demands.

Register Now
You've procrastinated long enough. Fail to understand and adapt to the new realities of retail and you risk being left behind. The opportunity to meet face-to-face with multiple peers and trading partners in one trip is worth the price alone. Of course, the insights gained from those interactions and educational sessions will have a much deeper impact on your organization's success. Register for the RVCF 2017 Annual Fall Conference today.

Start Planning and Budgeting for 2018
The dates and venues for RVCF Annual Spring and Fall Conferences have already been set for 2018, and registration is open for both events. Your boss can't use the "it's not in the budget" excuse if you start working now to get RVCF Conferences included in your budget.

The Spring Conference will be held May 6-9, 2018 at the Clearwater Beach Marriott Suites on Sand Key in Clearwater Beach, FL. The Fall Conference will be held October 14-17, 2018 at the Manchester Grand Hyatt San Diego in San Diego, CA. Get them in the budget, get them on the calendar, and register soon to take advantage of early bird pricing.

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CLICK HERE to return to the OCTOBER 2017 RVCF LINK

Tags:  RVCF Fall Conference 2017 

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